I am let down. I was led to believe that Zombie! Vs. Mardi Gras was one of the worst films of all time but to my supreme disappointment, I found it slightly amusing. I'm personally horrified by the implications of this. Have I been watching so many bizarro flicks that I can't really enjoy a highly-acclaimed film like Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (review coming soon!) but I can be entertained by no-budget schlock like this? Am I that much of a freak? YOU decide.
Recommend this product?
The filmmakers behind Zombie! were very obviously trying to make a terrible B-movie by using every trick in the book. Let's start with the plot. During the 1972 Mardi Gras, we see an innocent child being trampled under the feet of drunken partygoers. Flash forward to the present, the child has grown up horribly traumatized by the events of that day (we can tell because the actor playing the kid was smiling while he was getting stepped on) and decides to summon a zombie to destroy the current Mardi Gras festivities. You actually have to read that part of the plot before you see the movie or else it won't make sense thanks to the directors (all 3 of them) doing their best to tell the story incoherently. But the joke's on them because armed only with that tiny piece of knowledge, I managed to make out the rest of the storyline! In your face!!
We get a number of tacked-on subplots to try and confuse the issue further: a ninja who mumbles something about Zen, a group of filmmakers who've heard zombie urban legends, a completely naked woman taking a bath, a severed hand which seems to really get around, some aliens conspiring to mess with the space-time continuum, and the spirit of none other than Galileo, who is back from the dead to stop the zombie because some folks in Heaven don't like it when the undead are wandering around after curfew. Don't think for a moment that these threads go anywhere because they don't. That would cause Zombie! to approach a level of technical achievement that borders on competent.
The look of the film is as bad as anything I've ever seen. It's in black & white, badly lit, and a bit on the blurry side. At least the camera is pointed at the actors. Hehheh....I called them actors. My bad. You mostly get what have to be relatives and friends of the filmmakers combined with footage of women revealing their bare breasts in what could be mistaken for outtakes from one of those cheesy Women Gone Wild videos.
But the B-movie bag o' fun doesn't stop there! The dialogue is dubbed and quite crappily, too. Like something done by dropouts of the Mr. Bill school of voice acting who got a nightjob with American distributors dubbing copies of Bruce Li movies. Not the great Bruce Lee, mind you, but Bruce Li. Yeah, now you get it.
At this point, you have to be wondering what I could possibly see in such a mess. Well, to me, there was a certain charm to be found in all of this. You remember when you were little and you tried to make movies with the handheld video cam in your house and you'd play 'em for friends and family and they'd chuckle because, no matter how stupid the result was, it was still cute.
Certain moments in Zombie! were entertaining in the same way. There's this one part when Galileo is about to confront the zombie when suddenly he gets beat up by street thugs. That was funny. There were a few shots of those famous New Orleans goth chicks (blink and you'll miss 'em). That always gets points in my book. And the end credits show a girl who wasn't even in the damn movie and the zombie running towards each other in the middle of a grassy field until they finally meet in an embrace complete with a pseudo-sappy theme song. Check out these lyrics: "Zombie, they always hunted you... Zombie, what more could you do? Zombie, in a world that's so untrue... Zombie, I still love you!" I'm sorry, but that made me laugh.
I hear that Zombie! Vs. Mardi Gras will soon have a sequel, Zombie! Vs. Spring Break. I don't think I can sit through another movie like this so good luck with making it, guys. This film sucks but just enough so that cult movie ninnies like me can make it through one viewing.